Growing up, my Mom always put out decorations for each season. In my late teens she taught me about hygge- a Danish concept of creating warmth and comfort in your home environment. I wonder if she got this tradition from her mom. My Grandma will get out her decoration boxes at the turn of each season, almost like a ritual. She carefully puts each of her collection away and bring out the new pieces. When my family moved to Texas, my mom missed the natural change of seasons. The leaves didn’t change in the Fall and Winter never truly felt like Winter. My Mom kept the tradition of changing out decorations each seasons and even though I spent my teens in an place where the changing of seasons was not naturally apparent, my mom taught me the importance and value of accepting seasonal changes. I have carried the tradition of changing my environment to match each season. Putting up decorations, buying a seasonal candle, eating seasonally, changing out my wardrobe to match the weather are all examples of things that I have incorporated in my life to honour change. This helped me tremendously when I went from the sunshine of Texas to the very seasonal England. The first Autumn and Winter were hard for me. I missed the sun and I definitely felt the lack of Vitamin D. I slowly started to find comfort in the rituals that my Mom and Grandma taught me to make for myself.
I am writing this in early August. In the midst of summer break. I was on a walk last week and noticed the tips of the leaves on a tree starting to turn colour. I thought I was seeing things. I am not going to lie and this seems kind of silly but I proceeded to ignore it for about a week, refusing to believe it is already time for the summer to start easing into the autumn. As I sat down in the library today and looked out the window I noticed another tree starting to show signs of change. It is too early to get out my autumn clothing. It doesn’t feel right to start drinking warm drinks every night and curl up with a book in the candle light. It is certainly not time for cozy, warm socks yet.
It still feels like summer and it unsettled me to see glimpses of Autumn when it wasn’t her time yet. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited for the autumn this year. I am excited for everything this new season will bring but I can’t help but feeling like it isn’t time for it yet. I am not ready for this summer season to be over. As I meditated on these thoughts, I started to gain an appreciation for the season to come. While Summer is living out the rest of her days this year, Autumn is making preparations for her annual entrance. I’m not ready for the seasons to change yet but I admire Autumn for how she prepares to step into her time.
Autumn doesn’t come overnight; it comes in subtle changes. The leaves start to turn and the air starts to change over a period of time. She works up to the finale of vibrant trees and crisp fall air. I’m trying to remind myself as I work on my goals and dreams that, like autumn, these things take preparation. It takes time to get to the finale. Most importantly: the journey to get there is beautiful in and of itself.